The 2016-17 Civil War Institute Fellows are back on campaign: a company of hardened veterans recently tested by summer internships and fascinating research positions will be joined by a platoon of fresh recruits eager for excitement and their baptism of fire. Now united, they stand on the fringes of battle, preparing blank word documents and primary sources. They await the bugle call that will urge them forward into the challenge of comprehending not just the Civil War but themselves as historians, students, and scholars.
This year is guaranteed to be a unique one, as the Fellows will be undertaking new projects and exploring new boundaries of historical writing and interpretation. The Gettysburg Compiler, a trademark element of the fellowship, is sure to flourish with strong returning writers and new potential talent examining topics both popular and unconventional: public history, soldiers and civilians in memory, Civil War music, battlefield narratives, the National Park Service, foreign conflict, slavery. The emphasis of this year’s blog content is placed on drawing creativity from research: how will the fellows take personal objects or first-hand accounts from Musselman Library’s Special Collections and construct a meaningful account? What will the political history of Gettysburg after the battle reveal about its citizens and society? How can a document be contextualized to reveal emotions, relationships, opinions? Our Fellows have you covered.
While some Fellows will be hard at work with The Compiler, others aim to take on a new, exciting public history challenge. We will have more information on our affectionately-titled “Team Titus” and the “Carmichael Crew” as the semester progresses.
This year the Civil War Institute is joined by a cadre of new Fellows ripe with potential: Jon Danchik ‘17, Hannah Christensen ‘17, Danielle Jones ‘18, Ryan Bilger ’19, Savannah Labbe ’19, Olivia Ortman ’19, Jon Tracey ’19, and Laurel Wilson ’19. Whether writing for the blog, working on new projects, or discovering other ways to historicize and interpret the Civil War, these extraordinary student historians will be sure to surprise you.
It is my dearest hope that you not only enjoy the work of our Fellows but learn from it, challenge it, and find in it some aspect of the Civil War that you may have never considered. These students will be dedicating themselves to their work, so please feel free to show your support by liking, sharing, and commenting on blog posts. If you have questions or want to explore a topic more, engage us in the comments section; meaningful dialogue on a subject is just as essential as research.
I am delighted to present to you the 2016-2017 Civil War Institute Fellows! Let’s keep in touch.
All my best,
Annika Jensen, Managing Editor